This story appears in FCA Magazine’s March/April 2017 issue. Subscribe today!
Hometown: Hopewell, Pennsylvania
• Auburn, assistant (2016-current)
• Wake Forest, assistant (2013-16)
• Alabama, assistant (2012-13)
• Palm Beach Atlantic, head coach (2010-12)
• Stetson, assistant (2009-10)
• Seton Hall, graduate assistant (2007-09)
“… Deep in your hearts you know that every promise of the LORD your God has come true. Not a single one has failed!” – Joshua 23:14
Clarisse Garcia suffered a horrific car accident shortly after graduating college, clearing the slate for God’s direction. She relied on Him as she relearned how to walk, and then followed His footsteps into her first coaching gig as a graduate assistant. Now in her 10th year on the bench, her first as an Auburn assistant, Garcia has embraced her position of leadership, standing on Scripture and God’s promises as the anchor that holds firm and continues leading her down perfect paths.
FCA: What changed your perspective to consider a career in coaching?
CG: As soon as I participated in my first practice as a graduate assistant, I had a divine revelation of understanding, “OK, coaching is my passion.”
I want to coach as long as the good Lord wills it. God has taught me that I’m “on assignment,” not only at school and within my program, but wherever He places me. I prayed the Isaiah 6:8 prayer–“Here am I. Send me.”–and He has!
FCA: What do faith and obedience look like when you can’t see what’s coming next?
CG: Faith is the substance of things hoped for and evidence of things unseen (Hebrews 11:1). If we can believe that we are His “workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand,” (Ephesians 2:10, ESV) our hope for what’s next can be rooted in that He already has it planned out. I don’t have to strive, don’t have to do it all, because He’s orchestrated and ordered my steps.
Obedience is where the rubber meets the road. It’s not easy, because there are times I may not feel like it or there’s an easier option, but I go back to His Word’s truth and promises, and it says blessings follow obedience. When we walk in obedience, the enemy is going to attack you because he is on this earth to steal, kill and destroy. But nothing the enemy throws at us has the power to overtake us, shake us, rock us or catch us off guard, because we’ve been thoroughly equipped.
FCA: How do you view the role of student-athletes in today’s world?
CG: They are our future. God could have chosen any point in history to place us strategically on this earth, but He chose now. And now is the time to rise up in His calling, in the identity and authority He’s given us. We have to understand our words have power. As His children, we are His heirs, and as His heirs we have full right to the Kingdom of heaven and to bring that Kingdom to earth.
It’s hard for kids because there are so many things being thrown at them, and there’s all these different people being idolized within our society who are not living according to the Lord’s way. We have to show them the better way in Jesus Christ because this generation is so crucial and important to the revivals breaking out throughout the world.
FCA: What is something about God you want others to know?
CG: He is an exceedingly good and faithful Father desiring to bestow His love on us. He wants us to live in the fullness and abundance of what He has called all of us to have. His Word never fails, His promises are good, and they will come to pass.
FCA Staff Quote:
“Clarisse has a great heart for God and people, particularly her fellow coaches. In a profession as competitive as coaching, she has found a way to bring coaches together in a safe and encouraging environment through her Kingdom Coaches group. That type of community is hard to find, and I’m thankful Clarisse followed the Lord’s leading to establish it.”
FCA National Director Women’s Staff Development
Photos courtesy of Auburn Athletics